Could anyone lose their life again on an ocean race? Yes, and it could be this easy...


Someone asked me yesterday if I thought anyone would lose their life again on an ocean race and I said yes, sadly, I did.

I wasn’t thinking so much of catastrophic structural failure, although the racer’s adage that if it breaks it was too light, and if it doesn’t it is too heavy always applies and I believe keel problems will continue to dog canting keel boats, particularly on arduous races with no stops.

The risks that aren’t spoken of much that I find worrying are more to do with personal safety: serious injuries on board and that fatal, so-simple slip that leads to going overboard.

Then this morning I watched this video from the Open 60 Cervin EnR, taken a few days ago during the Transat Jacques Vabre. Stick with it until you see the two co-skippers on the foredeck, with the boat careering downwind under autopilot and see if you agree with me.

That video really brought me out in goosebumps.